Isabel López Verdugo

University of Sevilla

Need for Support and Intervention with Families in Situations of Vulnerability  

Participants: Javier Pérez Padilla1; Bárbara Lorence Lara2; Belén Soto Ponce3; Jesús Maya Segura4; Ainoa Mateos Inchaurrondo5

1University of Jaen; 2University of Seville; 3Coalition for the Study of Health, Power and Diversity (CESPYD); 4Loyola Universty; 5Barcelona University

Symposium Summary

Introduction: Under the umbrella of European and international guidelines on rights, children and families, we have experienced in our country a progression in the support services offered to families from a deficit focused approach to an intervention model aimed at preserving and strengthening families. This evolution has been translated, among other things, into the diversification of support modalities for families according to their particular realities, needs, strengths and preferences. Methods: This symposium describes the support needs of different groups in a situation of vulnerability and presents various intervention strategies aimed at family preservation and community strengthening. Results: A joint vision of the papers presented offers a diverse and complex overview of the support needs of families in a situation of vulnerability (users of social services, with adolescents with behavioural problems, from ethnic minorities and refugees). Different support modalities are described, such as day units, family treatment teams, scene-based integrative psychotherapy, community empowerment based on the Photovoice methodology and psycho-educational programmes promoting positive parenting. Discussion: The diversity of family realities described in this symposium allows us to consider the challenge of developing ecologically valid support actions that are not only effective but also socio-culturally relevant for families and therefore sustainable for the institutions that implement them. These experiences allow a discussion about the complexity of adopting a positive and community perspective that incorporates personal, family and social strengths and resources as the central axis of intervention. Finally, the diversity of intervention proposals presented allows us to reflect on the complexity of the mechanisms of change that explain the improvement after the intervention.

Short CV

Lecturer Doctor in the Department of Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Seville. She is part of the research group SEJ-547, focusing her research activity on the design and evaluation of training and family support programs in situations of psychosocial risk, particularly in the area of family preservation. Within the framework of this line of work, she has participated in several competitive projects at a state-level financed with public funds (R&D projects), as well as in agreements and contracts with local and regional administrations. At present, together with Dr Mª Victoria Hidalgo García, she is coordinating the project Study on the evaluation of the Treatment Programme for Families with Minors in Andalusia: a study of the implementation process and analysis of its effectiveness and efficiency, financed by the Department of Equality, Social Policies and Conciliation of the Andalusian Regional Government. She is also part of a COST action headed by Dr Lucía Jiménez García: The pan-European Family Support Research Network. A bottom-up, evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach European Commission. Isabel López Verdugo also has experience outside the university environment. She belongs to the Secondary School Teachers Corps (Speciality Orientation) and has a degree in Psychology with training for the exercise of health activities and qualification for the exercise of health activities.

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